Want to Market Experience? Create One

“Experience” is a word that is top-of-mind with marketers today. Offering experiences is seen as a solution to how we can attract and engage people to pay attention to brands and stay connected with them. Clutter and intense competition plague most industries, and developing experiences around brands is a strategy for achieving brand differentiation. Sounds great, but it is easier said than done.

Some categories lend themselves to being marketed as experiences- services, sports, and entertainment are three that come to mind. But, how is experiential marketing utilized when a natural link to creating experiences does not exist? The answer is simple: Create an experience to attract people to your brand. Cars.com has developed a customer experience that relates its brand to something highly intertwined with driving cars- music. The connection of music and cars is done through three branded custom channels on music streaming service Pandora. The three stations tie in to significant musical experiences people have related to cars: 1) Road Trip, 2) Car Songs, and 3) Tailgate.

The Cars.com program on Pandora illustrates the difference between exposure and engagement when marketing to an audience. It would have been simple for Cars.com to buy ads on Pandora, plastering its brand name across the site. Of course, we would have largely ignored Cars.com, just as we do most of the ads that are directed toward us online. While we focus on delivering great experiences at the point of consumption such as when people are visiting Cars.com, it is important that we explore other experiential points to interact with our audiences. Cars.com has succeeded in establishing additional experiential contacts that will “drive” development of brand relationships.

Marketing Daily - "Cars.com Sets Up Custom Channels on Pandora"

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